We recently caught up with one of our favorite boys -Downtown Zak AKA Zak Perris – on the heals of his new single, ‘Clap Your Hands’ off of his new EP/ Mixtape “Downtown Delinquents” (produced by DJ Fresh Direct.) As an up and comer in the hip hop world, Zak Downtown is already on top of his game – taking the stage with big names such as Lupe Fiasco, Chiddy Bang, Hoodie Allen, and even Swedish DJ duo Dada Life. Zak tells us a little bit about himself, his affinity for New York, and how social media is switching up the music industry.
You were born and raised in NYC…clearly your from Downtown… what neighborhood are you from? Still live there?
Born and raised in the West Village- just moved to SoHo but its a little too hectic over here- I’ll be heading back soon.
What’s been your favorite “Only In NY” Moment?
Since I’ve lived here my whole life all those moments are kind of just everyday life for me.
At what age did you start up your music career?
I started recording music probably when I was 15, didn’t get serious about it til I was 20.
How has growing up in the city shaped your music tastes and interests?
Being surrounded by so many cultures and people let me hear all types of music. But there was just something about the hip-hop culture when I was in middle school and highschool that I really loved. Being immersed in hip-hop with a mixture of all other types of music is probably why my music sounds the way it does.
You already have quite the Twitter and YouTube following – would you say social media has helped your career?
Of course, there’s so much independent artists can do today by themselves. When you can reach out to fans, and release music on your own it makes it that much easier. The music industry (especially hip-hop) is in the midst of a huge shift. Everyones still trying to figure it out. It will be interesting to see where that ends up, and artists who aren’t paying attention are only hurting themselves.
Clap your hands was filmed at Goldbar… is that one of your favorite spots in the city?
You know friends of mine have been djing there for years now and my friend Jonny Lennon has been throwing amazing parties there. Its just really aesthetically pleasing and as for going out they always play the best music.
What are some of your other top picks?
I’ve kind of fallen out of the loop on all the hot spots, but if I’m somewhere with a good dj and surrounded by good people that’s all that matters.
DJ Fresh Direct helped produce this album – How’d you get hooked up with him?
We both went to highschool in the city and had a ton of mutual friends. Someone finally realized… hey, this kid Zak is making cool rap music, but missing awesome production and engineering. So we linked up and have done some great stuff together. I’m sure well continue to do so , but be on the lookout for a lot of dope stuff Fresh Direct is doing on the djing side of things and production side.
What are currently listening to? Top 5 most played songs on your ipod?
- Theophilus London- Accept The New
- Troy Ave- Nino Brown
- Ladyhawke- Paris is Burning (Cut copy Remix)
- XV- All of this For Me
- Kavinsky- Nightcall
Lastly, fill in the blank. I love downtown because It’s home.